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Joiner Lucas | Who Is Lucas Venuto?

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A very fast winger from Brazil. But will he be a good MLS player? Let’s examine that issue.

Career Summary:

Venuto was discovered in Governador Valadares, a small town in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, by Red Bull Brasil, the Brazilian wing of the Red Bull club empire. He did well and was sent to Austria to train with Red Bull Salzburg. In 2014 he was transferred to second division side F.C Liefering, where he scored 5 goals and 3 assists in his first season. Later that year he was loaned out to F.C Grödig where he played with current Whitecap Yordy Reyna. In the 15/16 season he had a breakout year scoring 7 goals and 2 assists in the Austrian Bundesliga. This earned him a big move to Austria Vienna. He spent the first season as a sub scoring 4 goals and 2 assists across all competitions. in the 16/17 season he broke into the Vienna first team and scored 7 goals and 8 assists. But towards the end of the season disaster struck when Venuto ruptured his cruciate ligament in a game against Rapid Vienna. He was out for a little over 6 months. During this time he lost his place in the starting XI. His production on a per 90 basis hasn’t really been effected but he only has 2 goals and 3 assists in the past two seasons, mostly coming off the bench.

Style of Play:

When watching Venuto’s highlights the former Vancouver Whitecaps player who immediately springs to mind is Kekuta Manneh.

Both players are lightning quick and have enough dribbling prowess to give defenders fits. It’s worth noting that these highlights are all after his injury so he hasn’t slowed down from what you see in the video. Venuto, however, offers a little bit more technical ability and vision than Manneh did. At 5’5 he’s also knocked off the ball fairly easily but you have to actually catch him to do that and not many are fast enough. However, like Manneh, he also occasionally dribbles into trouble and looses the ball a lot. But that’s his game, a quick dynamic winger who takes risks. Sometimes those risks pay off and sometimes they don’t.

MLS Projections:

There have been a number of players to come over to MLS from the Austrian Bundesliga. Yordy Reyna, Daniel Royer, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi being notable examples. What we see when we look at all these players is that production in the Austrain Bundesliga translates basically 1 to 1 with production in MLS. If you’re a 10 goal a season player in Austria then odds are good you’ll also be a 10 goal a season player in MLS. In the Bundesliga, both before and after his injury, Venuto has produced at a rate between 0.3 and 0.4 G+A per 90 with a fairly even balance between goals and assists. Over the course of a full season, depending on how many minutes he plays, this works out to around 6 goals and 6 assists (possibly a little more if he really thrives in MDS’ system or a little less if he’s rotated a lot). Not super exciting DP numbers but a solid starter in MLS. Producing at this rate would make him a small but tangible upgrade on Cristian Techera.